Athena, on Her Last Day of Ninth Grade

Onward into summer.

27 Comments on “Athena, on Her Last Day of Ninth Grade”

  1. So mature looking! Have a great summer, Scalzis all. And Athena, rejoice in the knowledge that Oregon kids have another month of school to endure!

  2. Wow1 She looks more like her mother every time you post one of these portrait shots. (Nice picture, by the way). Tenth grade next year, eh? Now the dad stress really begins. My daughter is 30 years old and I still get stress attacks. They probably never go away, so, welcome to the club and happy summer to Athena.

  3. Anna C – Baltimore, MD – Hi there! I'm a girl in her mid-thirties, who lives in a big city on the east coast of the USA. For years my life has been filled with too much of so many things! Spending (hm, debt), escapist eating (ouch, a real eating disorder), mood swings (eek, emotional troubles), and purchases (uh-oh, clutter). Join me on my journey as I try to focus on a life with less. I want to live a more environmentally friendly life where I'm not dragged down by stuff and negativity. Welcome to my bright green life!
    Zoe Tucker

    gosh she’s growing up fast and quite beautifully.

  4. I am thinking Alice Cooper: School’s Out for Summer.

    Shortly after High School was over I was at home alone. I opened my windows and played School’s Out full blast on my stereo. Now, this was before the days of miniature IPOD speakers. My speakers were home made, and they were humongous!

    Anyway, song ended, and I split to my friends house.

    A minute or two after I left my dad arrived at the house.

    Shortly after that the police showed up on a noise complaint.

    Ahhh good times.

    I hope Athena has a wonderful summer!

  5. Congratulations one and all. Now, after Summer Vacation, she starts high school, again one of the young ones, working her way up to the glory and power of Senior-dom, then back to to frosh, at a college or university, and up the ramp again… Maybe someday teach at Robert Anson Heinlein University, Luna City… Right?

  6. It is only May! What kind of school years do they have in Ohio?? My highschoolers have another month to go.

  7. FaeryDesign – USA – Jill Of All Trades, Master Of ... well, a couple of areas! I do things like woodburning and beading as hobbies, but I'm deadly serious about my knit, crochet, and sewing.
    The Glitzy Faery

    Holy crap, she’s growing up so fast! Is this one of those “omg I’m so old” days? I remember being in a restaurant with my son, and him legally ordering a beer. I thought I’d never recover, lol. My mom laughed at me.

  8. D. Paul Angel – I am in my 40’s (the new "20" they say!), am originally from California, and now live in Portland, OR, but would eventually like to "retire" to Hawaii. I am, most definitely, a “Nerd’s Nerd.” I can recite huge tracts of Monty Python, can force Star Wars quotes into nearly any conversation, find serenity amongst fireflies, enjoy hitchhiking to the beach with my towel in hand (remember the Hawaii bit), have found precious little to dislike about Tolkien, and find any argument favoring Picard over Kirk to be both fascinating and most illogical. My foundation in Science Fiction began with Asimov, but Heinlein’s wit brought it to the front of my conscious. Although I am still recovering from the amount of time spent wheeling through Jordan and Sanderson’s epic, I have found long series, such as Scalzi’s, no longer make me feel like an old man (The new 20, right!?). I've always had a love of comics, particularly the far side of Bloom County where Calvin lived, often casting pearls before swine whilst doing the foxtrot over the hedge. Even though I already have 2 puppy-dogs I love, Zack and Satia, I can’t help but think how awesome having a magical creature would be; even if I do worry that caring for it would leave me feeling hagrid. I am more comfortable tweeting than facebooking, and I'm not athletic enough to be a tumblr. I'm also an airplane nerd and a licensed, albeit non-current, pilot. I've travelled enough to know I want to travel more, I've read, cover to cover, The Bible, Koran, Book of Mormon, Science and Health, and a smattering of Eastern philosophies, and I was one of the early board members of Cerimon House. I can bake bread from scratch, grill, and cook; and I've failed, miserably, in learning at least 4 different programming languages. I write, commit photography, and am learning the ins and out of drawing and illustration. I have long straddled that shady realm between the wholly physical and utterly imaginative, and I'm working towards taking up residence in the latter. I'm an expert in all forms of philosophocating, but find it is best done with open eyes, compassion, and humor; preferably with pleasant company, snacks, and an ample supply of delicious beverages. I have also been known to make the occasional pun.
    D. Paul Angel

    @Nikitta

    When I started Elementary School, it ran from grades 1-6. Middle School was 7 and 8, and then High School was 9-12′ or Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, and Senior years respectively. By the time I got to 5th grade, however, Middle School included 6th Grade, and High School remained unchanged.

    So if the Scalzi clan was in my hometown in California, or my adopted town in Oregon, she would have finished her Freshman year of High School. Since they are in Ohio, though, she could very well have just finished Junior High (as opposed to Middle School).

    So, long story short, even us Americans can’t even answer the question with certainty!

    Finally, I’m not sure where in Europe you reside but I had a long discussion with an Englishman once about their education system. I didn’t really think about it again until I read Harry Potter.

    Yeah insight!

    All the best,
    Paul

  9. D. Paul Angel – I am in my 40’s (the new "20" they say!), am originally from California, and now live in Portland, OR, but would eventually like to "retire" to Hawaii. I am, most definitely, a “Nerd’s Nerd.” I can recite huge tracts of Monty Python, can force Star Wars quotes into nearly any conversation, find serenity amongst fireflies, enjoy hitchhiking to the beach with my towel in hand (remember the Hawaii bit), have found precious little to dislike about Tolkien, and find any argument favoring Picard over Kirk to be both fascinating and most illogical. My foundation in Science Fiction began with Asimov, but Heinlein’s wit brought it to the front of my conscious. Although I am still recovering from the amount of time spent wheeling through Jordan and Sanderson’s epic, I have found long series, such as Scalzi’s, no longer make me feel like an old man (The new 20, right!?). I've always had a love of comics, particularly the far side of Bloom County where Calvin lived, often casting pearls before swine whilst doing the foxtrot over the hedge. Even though I already have 2 puppy-dogs I love, Zack and Satia, I can’t help but think how awesome having a magical creature would be; even if I do worry that caring for it would leave me feeling hagrid. I am more comfortable tweeting than facebooking, and I'm not athletic enough to be a tumblr. I'm also an airplane nerd and a licensed, albeit non-current, pilot. I've travelled enough to know I want to travel more, I've read, cover to cover, The Bible, Koran, Book of Mormon, Science and Health, and a smattering of Eastern philosophies, and I was one of the early board members of Cerimon House. I can bake bread from scratch, grill, and cook; and I've failed, miserably, in learning at least 4 different programming languages. I write, commit photography, and am learning the ins and out of drawing and illustration. I have long straddled that shady realm between the wholly physical and utterly imaginative, and I'm working towards taking up residence in the latter. I'm an expert in all forms of philosophocating, but find it is best done with open eyes, compassion, and humor; preferably with pleasant company, snacks, and an ample supply of delicious beverages. I have also been known to make the occasional pun.
    dpaulangel

    I should also add John that if the writing thing doesn’t work out for you, you should give photography a try!

    Deeply ironical humor aside, that is a great portrait.

    All the best,
    Paul

  10. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    changterhune

    God, that seems early. Is it harvest season already? We’ve still got snow melting on the streets and polar bears roaming the neighborhood asking for bus fare home.

  11. I’ve been hanging around here long enough, and have appropriately dilated memories of my own childhood enough, that the older she gets, the older I feel.

    …All the world’s a stage, I guess. May Athena’s next act bring the house down.

  12. Minor nit: “in” or “of” Ninth Grade, but “on”? I don’t think so.

    Like other posters, I wish our school district finished this quickly, given the snow days we had to make up.

  13. Dag. Given the troubles you guys had with the snow I’d think she’d have been stuck there at least until July.

  14. I recently read “Waiting for Athena”, so it’s a bit of a shock to see her looking so close to grown-up. And echoing others: schools out already? Lucky kid.

  15. Thanks, D. Paul. I’m from Denmark, where we have one kind of school from 1st to 10th grade, where the 10th is optional. High school is after that and two or three years, depending on which kind you want and some other schools also start after 10th grade, like if you want to work with your hands, and then there’s college ….

  16. Allison, in much of the US it would be useless to have school at the end of June, because unless the school is air conditioned (and most are not) the students and teachers would be too busy melting to learn anything.

  17. Xopher, I guess in Southern California school shouldn’t start until November, then. Sigh. Actually, that does explain some things about CA education…

  18. D. Paul Angel – I am in my 40’s (the new "20" they say!), am originally from California, and now live in Portland, OR, but would eventually like to "retire" to Hawaii. I am, most definitely, a “Nerd’s Nerd.” I can recite huge tracts of Monty Python, can force Star Wars quotes into nearly any conversation, find serenity amongst fireflies, enjoy hitchhiking to the beach with my towel in hand (remember the Hawaii bit), have found precious little to dislike about Tolkien, and find any argument favoring Picard over Kirk to be both fascinating and most illogical. My foundation in Science Fiction began with Asimov, but Heinlein’s wit brought it to the front of my conscious. Although I am still recovering from the amount of time spent wheeling through Jordan and Sanderson’s epic, I have found long series, such as Scalzi’s, no longer make me feel like an old man (The new 20, right!?). I've always had a love of comics, particularly the far side of Bloom County where Calvin lived, often casting pearls before swine whilst doing the foxtrot over the hedge. Even though I already have 2 puppy-dogs I love, Zack and Satia, I can’t help but think how awesome having a magical creature would be; even if I do worry that caring for it would leave me feeling hagrid. I am more comfortable tweeting than facebooking, and I'm not athletic enough to be a tumblr. I'm also an airplane nerd and a licensed, albeit non-current, pilot. I've travelled enough to know I want to travel more, I've read, cover to cover, The Bible, Koran, Book of Mormon, Science and Health, and a smattering of Eastern philosophies, and I was one of the early board members of Cerimon House. I can bake bread from scratch, grill, and cook; and I've failed, miserably, in learning at least 4 different programming languages. I write, commit photography, and am learning the ins and out of drawing and illustration. I have long straddled that shady realm between the wholly physical and utterly imaginative, and I'm working towards taking up residence in the latter. I'm an expert in all forms of philosophocating, but find it is best done with open eyes, compassion, and humor; preferably with pleasant company, snacks, and an ample supply of delicious beverages. I have also been known to make the occasional pun.
    dpaulangel

    @Nikitta

    I sometimes think we would benefit from a similar system near. I’ve met a lot of folks who are looking to have a career and decent paying job but don’t want to go to college. Trade schools would be an admirable solution to that I’d think.

    And, as long as I’m flirting with off topic, Denmark is on the list of countries I’d like to visit someday :-)

    All the best,
    Paul

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